GOVERNING SOCIALIST PS party candidate, António Costa, has been widely tipped as the favourite to win the forthcoming Lisbon Câmara snap elections.
Costa, the former Minister for Internal Administration, has the support of Prime Minister José Sócrates, former President of the Republic Jorge Sampaio, former Lisbon Câmara President João Soares and Oeiras Câmara President Isaltino Morais.
Other leading candidates in the race for the capital include Social Democrat (PSD) Fernando Negrão, who has the support of both former Finance Minister Manuela Ferreira Leite and Vila Nova de Gaia Câmara President Luís Felipe Menezes.
Outgoing Lisbon Câmara President Carmona Rodrigues finally announced last week that he too would stand in the elections as an Independent and bring on board Fontão de Carvalho, Remédio Pires and Gabriela Seara should PJ investigations clear their names of involvement in corruption and maladministration while they were executive officers.
When asked why he was supporting António Costa, Jorge Sampaio said: “He is the candidate that Lisbon needs, not only because of his leadership qualities but because he knows the city so well.”
Aquilino Ribeiro Machado (PS), Lisbon Câmara’s first President after the April 25 Revolution, said he was convinced that “now is the time for a socialist solution for Lisbon given the dramatic situation that the capital has suffered in the past two years”.
Former Lisbon Câmara President, João Soares, said that the reasons for his support for Costa were clear: “He is one of the only people capable of imposing order and strict governance to the Câmara and its management, and he has a strategic vision for Lisbon which it needs.”
He added that Costa was not only his choice but also that of other former President of the Republic, Mário Soares, and Prime Minister José Sócrates.
On the centre right of the political spectrum, Manuela Ferreira Leite (PSD) said that Fernando Negrão’s profile “merited confidence” while the PSD candidate told journalists that “it was just as well that his candidacy had not been plain sailing” since candidates that had full consensus of party opinion were usually “uninteresting”.
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